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Hughes Cuts Jobs, Ups DirecTV Prices

2/09/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Hughes Electronics said it has begun an "organizational restructuring" effort, which has reduced certain Hughes Corp. administrative jobs and relocated others to its DirecTV unit.

Now under the direction of News Corp., the company said it has "consolidated several functions, that have been based at the company, into its DirecTV unit."

As a result of the restructuring, approximately 50 positions have been eliminated at the Hughes corporate office, while approximately 30 other posts were relocated to DirecTV. A Hughes spokesperson said the jobs were primarily administrative support positions.

"This restructuring supports our goal of achieving greater operational efficiencies and our vision of operating Hughes with an entrepreneurial spirit and energy. That will enable us to build on our successes and be the recognized leader in our respective businesses," said Chase Carey, Hughes CEO, in a prepared statement.

Employees whose positions were eliminated received severance and outplacement resource support.

Meanwhile, DirecTV will impose between $1 and $3 price hikes on its basic packages, beginning March 1.

Under the new terms, Total Choice with local channels was hiked $1 to $39.99 a month; Total Choice Plus with locals was hiked $3 to $42.99 a month; and Total Choice Premier with locals was hiked $3 to $90.99 a month.

Those services without local channel services will rise $3 to $36.99 per month for Total Choice, $2 to $39.99 for Total Choice Plus and $2 to $87.99 for Total Choice Premier.

The company said it would not raise prices on foreign language, premium networks, HDTV, DVR or pay-per-view services.

As for its national promotional pricing campaign, DirecTV said new customers signing up for DirecTV will receive the Total Choice with local stations package for $29.99 for six months, representing a $60 savings. The offer is open to new customers who purchase receiving equipment and agree to a one-year service commitment.

DirecTV's Spanish-language Opcion Ultra Especial Con Canales Locales package will also be offered for $29.99 per month to new subscribers. The new promotional pricing offer will run between March 1 and July 17.

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